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Beck Moves Obama From 'Hitler' to 'Mao'

Hollywood in cahoots with the prez to force us to volunteer

(Newser) - Apparently, Hollywood’s dumb-named “iParticipate” campaign is the worst thing since the Great Leap Forward. Sixty network shows will work volunteerism and community service into the plot this week, and in Glenn Beck’s mind, this, coupled with Obama's own push for volunteerism, is the stuff conspiracies are made...

School Volunteering Stresses Parents Out

Pressure to help out a source of anxiety for moms and dads

(Newser) - With school budgets slashed because of the weak economy, parents are feeling more pressure than ever to volunteer. About 64% of parents surveyed by Harris Interactive say they believe it's more important than ever to pitch in, with 53%—far more than last year— saying they planned to do just...

No Hard Knocks for Peace Corps in Downturn

Obama, recession boost interest in volunteer group

(Newser) - During a commencement address last month, Barack Obama singled out the Peace Corps as an American institution dedicated to "opportunity, equality, and freedom." As the Los Angeles Times reports, the president's glowing praise—combined with Obama-era idealism and a weak job market—has contributed to a 16% jump...

Salamanders Get Help Crossing the Road

To mate! With some help from human friends

(Newser) - Salamanders are getting an assist this mating season from volunteers who shepherd them across dangerous highways, the AP reports. Hundreds try to cross between forests and vernal pools this time of year, and human escorts—also known as bucket brigades—have popped up along the East Coast to keep them...

Fargo Scrambles to Prevent Flooding
Fargo Scrambles
to Prevent Flooding

Fargo Scrambles to Prevent Flooding

Red River could see record overflow

(Newser) - Minnesota and North Dakota work crews joined volunteers today to build levees and sandbag walls as a storm threatened to cause flooding, Inforum reports. Locals living along Red River are bracing for as much as 1 inch of rain tonight from a storm expected to last 2 days, causing river...

Volunteer Boom Becoming a Burden

Charities overwhelmed by would-be free workers

(Newser) - As more people lose jobs, they’ve got hours to fill—and many are turning to volunteer work, looking to do good and perhaps network, the New York Times reports. But organizations have been so flooded that many have had to put would-be helpers on waiting lists—and for some,...

Obama Pitches Public Service—On the Net

USAService.org connects volunteers to projects

(Newser) - Barack Obama, like John F. Kennedy before him, has issued a call to service in a novel medium. For Kennedy it was television, and Obama, unsurprisingly, is using the Internet to drum up volunteerism, Time reports. USAService.org allows willing citizens to find projects, or even organize them, and capitalizes...

Millions Mobilize for SoCal Earthquake Drill

Students, workers practice ducking and covering in pretend 7.8 temblor

(Newser) - An estimated 5 million volunteers and emergency personnel participated in a huge earthquake drill in Southern California today, the Los Angeles Times reports. The “ShakeOut,” as it is known, was designed to raise awareness of the continued need for earthquake preparedness. California will almost certainly get hit with...

Obama Forces Battle for Va.
 Obama Forces Battle for Va. 

Obama Forces Battle for Va.

McCain forced to defend GOP stronghold

(Newser) - Virginia hasn’t swung Democrats’ way since Lyndon Johnson, but suddenly it’s a battleground, the Washington Post reports, and Obama appears to have all the tactical advantages. The Dem has three times as many campaign offices, and his army of volunteers has registered almost a half-million new voters.

Get the Most Bang for Your Activist Buck

(Newser) - There are a scant 27 days left to dedicate your blood, sweat, and tears to your candidate of choice. But some activists' moves are better than others. Christopher Beam runs down the best way to put your limited resources to good use in Slate: Got time to kill?
  1. Knock on

Storms Test New FEMA System
 Storms Test New FEMA System 

Storms Test New FEMA System

'Dynamic' approach distributes response burden

(Newser) - With three big storms hitting the US within about a week, FEMA is attempting to stay a step ahead, planning emergency response strategies and deploying supplies. The agency's new "dynamic regrouping" plan represents a real-time collaboration between military, civilian, and volunteer personnel, the Christian Science Monitor reports. "The...

Quake Efforts Break Barriers in China

Ordinary citizens donate, head to quake scene without government coordination

(Newser) - The Chinese people have responded to last week's Sichuan earthquake with an unprecedented outpouring of volunteer work and donations—outside the scope, and control, of the Chinese government, the New York Times reports. China’s regime doesn’t trust public activism, and has long restricted private charity groups. But the...

Nonprofit Builds Free Houses for Wounded Vets

Mass. group provides 'great ending to bad beginning'

(Newser) - A nonprofit group is putting up customized homes for badly injured vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Massachusetts-based Homes for Our Troops is building in 20 states, fueled by donated supplies, land, and labor. “When a vet is in need, people come out of...

Volunteer Efforts Revive New Orleans Firehouses

Donations help fix 'critical safety issue'

(Newser) - With public money tied up, generous donations of time and funds have restored four New Orleans firehouses, the Times-Picayune reports. "This is a critical safety issue,” said the district chief. With 22 of 33 city firehouses hit hard in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, many firefighters still work out...

SF Oil Cleanup Gases Up, Volunteers Rebuffed

Coast Guard sends eager residents home

(Newser) - As cleanup of the San Francisco oil spill intensifies, so does the frustration of volunteers blocked from pitching in. At least one organizer ended up in handcuffs when his group ignored a park ranger's order to get off a beach and instead scooped up globs of oil. Hundreds of residents...

'Voluntourism' Feeds Profits, Not Mouths

Gap-year travelers waste their time and money, charity claims

(Newser) - A leading British charity has blasted the new "voluntourism" industry as an amateurish scam, writes the Times of London. The vogue for gap-year travel to developing countries, where young volunteers pay for the privilege of teaching children or building homes does little good and enriches nobody but the travel...

Wal-Mart Mexico Pays Teen Baggers Nada

Retail giant calls young, uncompensated workers 'volunteers'

(Newser) - Wal-Mart has 4,300 teenagers bagging merchandise for free in its Mexican stores, Newsweek reports. The retail giant isn't doing anything illegal, since the kids aren't technically workers but "volunteers" who donate their time in exchange for gratuities from customers. But labor activists say the notoriously bottom-line-minded company is...

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